So, inevitably, Aunt Gerry found out about this blog. I hadn’t told her, unsure of her reaction. I asked her if she wanted to see it, and she, not surprisingly, but perhaps singularly, said, “Oh, no. Absolutely not.”
For many many years Aunt Gerry worked at The Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy.Gerry was a councilor for their hotline, and they are major partners for the upcoming Pride Parade and surrounding events. One of her closest friends also worked there, perhaps still does, and showed up in a photo in the recent Chelsea Now, our local paper. Now, know this - the ladies in our family are vain. We are many other, more laudable things as well, but we are unaplogetically, bordering on imperiously, vainglorious. For as long as I can remember Aunt Gerry has been a fierce editor of unflattering family photos, and has developed certain tricks (that I could really stand to practice) for taking a good picture. Her friend’s photo in the paper was terribly unflattering.
She cut the photo out and set it aside to show me, as she does with funny or interesting articles about gallery or theatre shows I should really see and new restaurants opening up in Brooklyn that she will never go to (whhhy would I go to Brooklyn?) so perhaps I should.
"I’ve had a big realization," she said to me, smoothing the photo out. "It doesn’t matter to me what the photo looks like, I love this picture because I love this person, and I love seeing her!"
It truly, as she says, gave her a lift to see her friend.
Seldom are we able to give ourselves the same leeway as we give the people we love, but maybe next time you are tearing yourself down or editing your own image, remember that even the most prideful of them all would be happy just to see your face.
Lesson 7: It’s all about the love.
[photo credit: madduhuacuja.com]